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PS...my Jack Russell Terrier...does the same paw-lifting !
BERLIN -- Germany's Nazi government was so angry about a dog trained to imitate Hitler that it started an obsessive campaign against its Finnish owner, according to newly discovered documents.
In the middle of World War II, the Foreign Office in Berlin commanded its diplomats in the Nazi-friendly Nordic country to gather evidence on the dog, and even came up with plans to destroy the pharmaceutical wholesale company of the dog's owner.
Historians had not been aware of the strange footnote to the Nazi period before some thirty files containing parts of the correspondence and diplomatic cables were recently found by a researcher at the political archives of the German Foreign Office.
Klaus Hillenbrand, an expert who has written several books on the Nazi period, was contacted by the historian and examined all of the documents for an article to be published Saturday in daily newspaper Die Tageszeitung.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Hillenbrand called the entire episode "completely bizarre."
"Just months before the Nazis launched their attack on the Soviet Union, they had nothing better to do than to obsess about this dog," Hillenbrand said.
The dog, Jackie, was a mutt owned by Tor Borg, a businessman from the Finnish city of Tampere. Borg's wife Josefine, a German citizen known for her anti-Nazi sentiments, dubbed the dog Hitler because of the strange way it raised its paw high in the air like Germans greeting the Fuehrer with a cry of "Heil Hitler!"
On January 29, 1941, German Vice Consul Willy Erkelenz in Helsinki wrote that "a witness, who does not want to be named, said... he saw and heard how Borg's dog reacted to the command 'Hitler' by raising its paw."
Borg was ordered to the German embassy in Helsinki and questioned about his dog's unusual greeting habits. He denied ever calling the dog by the German dictator's name, but admitted that his wife called the dog Hitler. He tried to play down the accusations, saying the paw-raising had only happened a few times in 1933 -- shortly after Hitler came to power.